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‘Sandman’ promised to be one of the best Netflix series of the year and an essential fantasy, but it remains a bit in no man’s land

the great obsession of Netflix is to get franchises as popular as the most popular in Hollywood. The problem is that the closest thing to it that you have is ‘Stranger Things’a series that will come to an end with season 5. Now it seems that they want ‘The invisible agent’ to take that place, but its success is far from what the platform expected.

Among all the titles that Netflix has left to release throughout this year, ‘Sandman’ stands out with its own light for its possibilities as a franchise. Own Neil Gaman, co-creator and screenwriter of the original comic, has actively participated in this adaptation that initially aimed to be one of the best series on the platform of the year, but doubts came when it was learned that the embargo for critics ended on August 5, the same day of its premiere. That may not have to be a bad sign, but in no case does it bode well.

Yes but no

For my part, I have been able to see six of the ten episodes that make up this first season of ‘Sandman’ and it shows that the main concern of the series is to present a rich and varied universe of its own. Be careful, that does not mean that it is very colorful -yes, there are specific details, such as a certain creature that appears in an episode-, since the series tends to bet on the use of muted colors -curiously, when everything seems more alive is when the series enters more fully into the theme of death-, while the decline of the kingdom of its protagonist does not invite great boasts in terms of visual beauty.

Nevertheless, that is precisely what the very approach of the series requires, so out there the only downside that can be put is that it is not particularly seductive, something problematic considering the infinity of locations that appear in just a handful of episodes. Of course, the strategy here is not to tirelessly throw things at the viewer, but to opt for an approach that I suspect some viewers will find somewhat erratic.

For now, ‘Sandman’ never completely decides if it wants to be a series in which a long-term plan prevails or if this is little more than a consequence of its episodic vocation. This leads to the fact that, beyond the protagonist played by Tom Sturridgein each episode different characters have great importance and then many seem as if they fell into oblivion.

I have no doubt that most of them will return at one time or another, but something curious happens there, and it is that those characters who enter and leave often attract more attention than the main character himself -although it doesn’t always happen either, there are some that are somewhat bland no matter how much intensity you want to imprint on their presence. It’s not that Sturridge does a bad job, but the very approach of his Morpheus has a touch of intriguing mystery, but never dazzlesit is as if it were too gray in its way of being.

Lights and shadows of ‘Sandman’

Sandman Netflix Series Scene

Initially that makes all the sense in the world, since the first episode, co-written by Gaiman himself, is of essential importance to establish everything that the protagonist has to undo, also more than fulfilling its introductory facet, something that many series forget lately. It is a very powerful start that invites us to expect great things from the series, but then the engine stalls, perhaps even on purpose, leaving a bittersweet taste in everything that comes after.

I am clear that there will be those who complain and allude to that nonsense of using the woke as a throwing weapon even without seeing something because of the changes made to some characters such as the fact that Lucifer is played by a woman. For my part zero problems, the creator himself has decided so, but it is also Gwendoline Christie she’s great in the few minutes she shows up. It’s even better Jenna Coleman like the Constantine of our time, yes.

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However, what affects the series is the use of a scattered narrative, to the point that it almost seems that the first 5 episodes could be a separate volume and at the same time they do not have the necessary entity for it. This relative contradiction affects the series at all levels, since as soon as it engages, it is close to repelling, even within the same sequence.

Surely Gaiman has wanted to avoid at all costs that ‘Sandman’ becomes a conventional series and I can say that he has succeeded. The problem is that along the way he never achieves the necessary consistency to hypnotize the viewer and let us get carried away. He just doesn’t earn it, and that’s a shame. All in all, there will surely be someone who ends up bewitched by such a proposal and it is likely to be successful, but I am not sure that it will become the mass phenomenon that Netflix expects. I do not see that quality, because it is as if they had wanted to make a niche series, but also that from one episode to another they jump from one segment of the public to another.

In short

Sandman Image Netflix

‘Sandman’ is not the big hit that some expected when Netflix announced the series. Virtues has a few and the universe that it presents leaves at least with curiosity to see how it is expanding, but the lack of focus and how irregular it becomes they end up leaving her a bit in no man’s land. I’m not saying I do it at all because there are reasons to have faith, but also to continue to doubt and think that ‘The Witcher’ is still the best fantasy series on Netflix.


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